Ofcom launches investigation over pre-watershed Woolwich video

TV watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation over the decision by broadcasters to air footage before the watershed from the scene of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.

Drummer Rigby, 25, was hacked to death in Woolwich, south-east London, on 22 May.

Ofcom is investigating BBC News, 5 News, ITV News, Channel 4 News and Sky News among others, following a number of complaints about footage obtained by a bystander on a mobile phone.

It will assess whether the footage was appropriately scheduled for children and whether any potential offence could be justified by the context.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, from Romford, Essex, is charged with murdering Drummer Rigby near Woolwich barracks on 22 May.

He is also accused of the attempted murder of two police officers and possession of a firearm, a 9.4mm KNIL model 91 revolver, with intent to cause others to believe that violence would be used.

Michael Adebowale, 22, from Greenwich, south east London, has also been charged with the soldier's murder and possession of a firearm.

The BBC, ITV News and The Sun, which obtained its own video that was uploaded to its website and later used by other organisations, all defended use of the footage at the time. All three claimed it was in the public interest to run the video.

Sky News, however, chose not run the footage as it would have been "unnecesarily distressing" for viewers. A spokesperson said they have never run the video footage of the attackers that was used by other broadcasters.

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